Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jazz - It's Not About the Area Code


We get another chance to support great Jazz music here in Cincinnati - Doc B is back. After a hiatus, Doc B Productions is presenting Jazz at Jaspers, located on Mt. Lookout Square, on Thursday evenings. The first show on November 6 featured the dynamic and inventive drummer Mark Lomax fronting a quartet. The music was first rate as only Doc B will present. For some reason I can't understand, local Jazz fans seem to think the quality of the music is tied into the musician's Zip Code.If the artist has a 212 code then the locals will show up. The local players have a hard time finding a venue or an audience when they do. Walt Broadnax supplies both.This Thursday Mike Wade performs.

Further info at: http://www.jazzincincy.com/ ©Melvin Grier

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free at What Cost?

Let me make one thing clear, I'm not much of a business man. Maybe that's why I never pursued freelance work during my time as a staff photographer at the Post.Of course the occasional extra curricular job would come my way but they were mostly far afield of the photojournalism that I most enjoy. I did know quite a few photographers who earned a living running studios or doing on site corporate work. When digital photography arrived things began to change for all of us. In my case it was adjustments in equipment and methods and in some cases loss of control on the final presentation of the photograph in the Post. I think the impact on my colleagues that didn't work for a newspaper was far more career threatening. Digital cameras with their auto this and auto that make it possible to ensure that pictures "come out".Of course the quality of the image is still problematic. I was reminded of this shift from photographic ability to photographic automatic when I read a recent feature piece about a well meaning couple who attends a local high school and take pictures of sporting events to give to the participants. It's a nice gesture but I equate it with giving away hot dogs, pizza and spirit wear. It is a revenue stream that is eliminated.Another entry level opportunity for income is gone because the best price we can hope for, is the one that costs us nothing. © Melvin Grier

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back to the Streets

On Friday September 19, some of the us former Post employees and other media types got together for the Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists 2008 Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions. I was not on the list of award recipients. I have no complaint because SPJ has been good to me in past years. I attended to support several of my former colleagues. For me it was a bittersweet evening. Seeing some of the people I worked with brought home how much I missed that daily interaction with the accomplished journalists I worked with. As E.W. Scripps chairman William Burleigh made his speech,  pages from various years of the Post flashed on the screen the audience saw what I always knew, the Post did good and sometimes great work. Far from the Grand Ballroom at the Phoenix and on the pavement of Main Street in Over The Rhine I encountered a vendor selling Street Vibes, an alternative newspaper that addresses issues of homelessness and social justice. This vendor is as grassroots as you can get. To photograph or write about those type of issues is why a lot of us got into journalism in the first place.I worked for a company whose motto was "Give Light and the People Will Find Their Own Way". On December 31, 2007 it got a little darker here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. © Melvin Grier

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bruce Menefield - Jazz Musician

Bruce Menefield, a Jazz musician based in Cincinnati, is shown practicing and commenting about his approach to this great music. Bruce then performs at the Hyatt in downtown Cincinnati . © Melvin Grier

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pardon The Intrusion

On a yearly basis personnel from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources rides a tiny elevator  some 400 feet up the interior of a smoke stack at Miami Fort Power Station. Once reaching that level they remove the chicks from the nest that has outside and inside access. The young bird's parents are none too happy with this intrusion and buzz the nest at incredible speed. The chicks are carried to a ground level office where they are banded and introduced to a few schoolchildren.It makes for "cute" pictures. I chose to take the elevator ride and try for the adult birds. This photograph from May 25, 2005 is the result.© Melvin Grier

Friday, August 22, 2008

City Chicken

The Hamilton County Fair has taken place in the Carthage neighborhood for at least 153 years.It affords city people the opportunity to get up close and personal with farm animals and displays of prize winning produce. You might even see a lady dressed in a chicken suit working with... chickens!! The issue now is whether or not the public really cares since attendance is way down. Some have suggested that safety might be the reason why only about 9000 people attended this year's Fair.  There is talk of moving the Fair to a more rural setting. When you  hear a man tell his daughter " no that's not a dog, it's a goat", you walk away convinced that the Hamilton County Fair should stay where it is. © Melvin Grier

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Death Stop

On April 25, 2006, 48 year old Angela Grayson waited at this Metro stop for a bus to work. At about 11:22 AM she was shot and killed by a criminal firing at someone else. This photograph is one of a series that I've shot documenting the memorials to homicides in neighborhoods that are near downtown Cincinnati. In the May 2008 issue of Cincinnati Magazine  a selection of these memorial photographs ran with an essay by Kathy Y. Wilson. The shooting of Angela Grayson happened in Avondale, a short walk from where I live. Shootings have reached epidemic proportions in some communities. I have chosen to support CeaseFire Cincinnati, a group that is trying to do something about this dangerous problem. © Melvin Grier

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jazz Drummer

Mark Lomax, one of the new wave of young Jazz musicians playing in and around Cincinnati, performs at the Hyatt Hotel in a concert produced by "Doc B". Because of a combination of factors this fine series was discontinued. The music never received the support from some of the public who claim to love Jazz.   © Melvin Grier

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Inner-City Masjid (Mosque)

While one of their group enjoys his meal, the other members of the Masjid wait for their plates after Friday prayers in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. © Melvin Grier